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"Is This What Respect Feels Like?" A Real Wonder Woman Speaks Out

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Modena M. just shared this on the Epbot FB page, and it's so powerful, relevant, and yes, painful, that I had to immediately track down the source to share with you guys. Check it out:

 
 


As I struggled with my grief over the reality this comic portrays, I was further outraged by the fact that the source was one of those thieving photo-dump sites which plastered their watermark on it not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES, with no credit or link to the artist. Adding further insult to injury, the site named the file "cool-comic-geek-woman-fat-costume.jpg"

Allow me a moment to scream in inarticulate rage.

AAAAAAARRRRGHHH!!!

However, there is hope in the world. The artist is Paige Hall, and when I finally tracked down her Tumblr blog this was her most recent update, posted less than an hour ago:


Teachers are awesome, you guys. Mega kudos to that one.

(Paige also has an art Tumblr where she did a painting of the PonPonPon girl. Ha! Love it.)

Paige, if you read this, know that we love you, we feel you, and we bet you looked freaking FIERCE in your Wonder Woman costume.

The jerks out there will always try to spoil our community, but they are in the minority. True geeks are the most accepting and lovable bunch out there, and I hope - I dearly hope - that you'll be so overwhelmed with positive responses and support and stories of amazing con experiences that you will not only cosplay again, but do so proudly.

Epbot readers, what say you? Let's show Paige some love today. 

*** 

[NOTE: it looks like Paige has turned off all the messaging/comment options on her blogs, so just leave your notes here, guys, and we'll make sure she finds them!]

[Update: Just heard from Paige in the comments! Yay! So keep the comments coming, guys; she IS reading them!]

Posted by Jen at 4:14 PM Labels: ,

522 comments:

  1. Paige seems to have turned off the comments on this comic...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Oops - really? Tumblr formatting always baffles me, so I can't tell. Still, I'm sure Paige will find THIS post, so you can feel free to leave a note for her here.

      Delete
    2. Hey Paige! You inspire me. Please don't give up. There are amazing people in the world. I know it is so much easier said than done, but never give up on finding those. Once you do, all of you go to the con in costume and rock it!
      I'm a middle-aged "wonder" woman with geek tendencies so I know what I'm talking about. Take care of you!
      Bonnie

      Delete
  2. Not sure if Paige will read this but hang in there and keep cosplaying! A lot of us have been through various stages of not being accepted, and we're in it together! =) Most geeks I've met are very kind and open. Hope you find some good Con friends!

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  3. On Tumblr, if you want to leave a message, you add /ask to the URL. However, when I went to her message box, she said she appreciates everyone liking her comic, but she asked that no one else send messages about it. So, leaving a message here seems like the best course of action.

    So, Paige, you are crazy talented. As a large geeky woman, I know the pain your comic portrays. Just know that there are many who respect and support you in all your endeavors.

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  4. I am not surprised that Paige turned off comments because unfortunately I bet she would get a lot of hateful negative comments on her comic just like she did in real life. Maybe we can put comments here for her?

    I think it is not just "that stuff and the men that love it" who "love to make us women not love ourselves." It is our entire society. If you read articles about gorgeous actresses they mention feeling bad about their looks. I know that to some degree they're just trying to relate to the rest of us and make themselves seem normal. But I can believe it, because Aphrodite herself would be hearing it from all sides: too thin, too fat, too curvy, not curvy enough, too pale, too muscular, too flabby, too dark and what made her think she could pull off that dress?

    I salute you for engaging in your interests and I'm sorry you had such an awful experience.

    I read about Jason Collins, the NBA player who just this week came out as gay and how just a few years ago a major player was denouncing gays as sinners and not being criticized for that. So maybe at some point it will become not OK to criticize people for their body shape or size.

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    1. Love this comment. All types of unprovoked hate are pretty much the same. It is possible to find secure, happy, humane people who see others as individuals, it can just take a lot of looking sometimes.

      Paige, you're wonderful. Just keep on being you!

      Delete
    2. "I think it is not just "that stuff and the men that love it" who "love to make us women not love ourselves." It is our entire society."
      This is exactly true. I was reading comments on many different cosplays and couldn't believe it. Each and every female cosplay there was some ass complaining. Her boobs weren't big enough for the character she was portraying. She was too fat to be that character. She looks like a man... it was disgusting! I couldn't believe that there were that many people out there so hateful on women who are into what is usually a "guy thing". It's perfectly acceptable for men and women to like and not like particular body shapes but to be so hateful to someone who was just trying to show their interest, I admit it made me very sad.
      I greatly applaud your bravery. I would not be able to do what you did. I love your comic. <3
      Respec!

      Delete
  5. Paige is amazing. I am in awe of anyone who hasthe guts to cosplay at a convention. I have also found conflict in trying to be a woman and trying to be a fan. If she's out there, I hope she knows there are more of us than there are of the morons who called her hateful names. We live and support her and if she's anywhere close to knoxville, next time she has a volunteer to be a partner in crime!

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  6. Paige, you are loved and wonderful. Don't let the bad experiences with some of the congoers make you forget that there are men and womenwho wouldn't behave like that in a million years there, and that those bad ones are a minority, although I would like it to be a much smaller minority. And those people at cons that feel like I do, please, when you hear someone insulting a stranger, stick up for that person!

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    1. "stick up for that person!"

      I think that's really important. The abusive person being told that no, they are not commenting on behalf of everyone else there, makes a massive difference and might just make them think twice about the way they speak to people in future.

      Also, if someone is doing or wearing something that draws attention to them and you think it's cool, tell them so, even just in passing; you don't know what kind of day they're having and it might just be what makes it worthwhile. I tend to just stare when I'm looking at someone's clothes or hair or whatever thinking it's awesome, but they can't tell that what I'm thinking is positive, so I try to make sure they know now! It's never too late to refine ones social skills :D.

      Delete
  7. This just breaks my heart... I attended my first ever con last weekend (Calgary Expo) and also did a cosplay as well, and it was a very real fear for me that I would find myself in a situation like the one Paige illustrates in her comic. Thankfully, it was never an issue - in fact I couldn't believe how nice every one was and the complete lack of jerks that I encountered. I can only hope that Paige will keep her chin up and ignore all the idiots because she deserves to find her happy and not have other people trample on that.

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    Replies
    1. We should have an Epbot fans meet-up at the expo next year! :) I went in 'costume' for the first time as well, and even though it was pretty simple, basic steampunk, I was nervous about it, too!

      Paige, don't let the haters get you down!

      Delete
  8. Oh, there just aren't words. I want to cry with her. I hope Paige finds some good con friends too, and that she doesn't hang up that costume forever.

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  9. I can't find a way to comment on ANY of her posts to link this directly to her! I will keep trying, because while she may find this post, I would like to know that she will actually see it, and sending her a link will guarantee that.

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  10. Paige's comic has gotten 118,337 notes/reblogs on Tumblr which is AMAZING - in 4 days - which says that thousands of people can relate! For Tumblr you can turn comments on or off for your posts (i.e. you can comment without reblogging). Most people have that feature turned off because some of the time the comments are quite nasty. On my blog I have comments turned on for people who follow me. And if Paige reads this, I always admire people who have the courage to say or draw what the rest of us are thinking.

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  11. Don't give up on geekdom or cosplaying. I found the world's best husband in fandom, at a con, while I was in costume, and he shares his friends with me.

    Stand proud, and DARE those guys to disrespect you. You'll be able to tell the good ones from the others.

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  12. Well if Paige doesn't want comments on her comic, then I'll just have to leave one here: You *rule* lady. Don't let the bastards grind you down. (Cue either The Toasters or The Popes for musical interlude, depending on your tastes)

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  13. If Paige happens to read this I want her to know that she is beautiful and such an inspiration! I never had the guts to cosplay at all, but maybe one day I will.

    Keep cosplaying and doing what you love! The people that are rude and disrespectul don't deserve your attention. Don't let them rob you of your happiness!

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  14. OMG! Paige, you totally and completely ROCK! Your art is fabulous, and the courage it took to wear that costume boggles my mind! It may not be the skimpiest outfit ever worn at a con, but I don't even like to wear a swimsuit in public. ;)

    Be fearless, be fierce, and always be the amazing woman you are! Someone once said these very wise words, and I try to live them:

    "What other people think of me is none of my business."

    Lots of love and hugs, Hon! You are awesome!

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  15. For Paige:

    The jerks that try to cut you down usually want to do it because of their own self-hatred. Take a group with you the next time you cosplay and and use each other to drown out the jerks. Also, your art is freaking amazing.

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  16. Paige, you are awesome, your comic is awesome, your picture is awesome, and I bet your costume was awesome too. I love Wonder Woman too, but I'd never in a million years have the guts to wear a WW costume. You are a way talented artist. Thanks for being YOU.

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  17. I just can't understand how OTHER PEOPLE keep insisting that when we put on our "armor", it's for THEIR viewing/amusement/approval. Jeez, if you can't be yourself at a geek con, where can you? Giving up lets the haters win, Paige! Go get 'em, girl!

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  18. Paige, you are a true wonder woman. The writing and artistic talent you show in that comic--some of us strive for and never achieve. Keep doing what you're doing and you will most certainly be successful. And continue the cosplay if you still want to. One day, people will be dressing up as characters you create. And that, THAT will be your triumph. Good luck and know you have many, many fans already.

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  19. I saw the comic a few days ago, I'm so thrilled it's going viral! I'm a bigger girl, and I've always been too scared to cosplay. I'm confident, and I love me & my body, but I was never brave enough to put up with the jerks. But after seeing this, I've decided to give it a go! I think I'm gonna start with Geek Girl Con here in Seattle, and now I'm super excited! So thanks Paige! We'll win in the long run!

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  20. Paige, You are an amazing person and YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Please accept huge cyber hugs and know that you looked amazing in your cosplay. Real women are more beautiful that haters who hate because they fear.

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  21. paige, if i ever run into you at a con, please don't be freaked out when i want to give you the biggest best geeky bear hug in all the land. i'll be the also-geeky girl smiling insanely big because i'll be meeting another amazing person IRL. and then we can go to a panel together or something. you. are. so. wonderful. love, meg.

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  22. I reblogged on Tumblr with a note for Paige. It's really the only way to comment. Tumblr doesn't have a standard commenting system. It's weird like that. So if you are on Tumblr.... Reblog, reblog, reblog.

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  23. Paige, I want to hug you... and then sit down and watch whatever movie/TV series makes you happy while we eat popcorn. You're not alone.

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  24. Paige, you find some good friends who will support you when you wear anything you darn well want to the con. And you enjoy yourself, because you should!

    I wear costumes that frequently don't match my face, body shape, or even gender because it's freaking *costuming* and not "trying to get cast in the movie role". I costume for my own entertainment for for that of the people with enough taste to enjoy it. The haters can jump in a lake.

    Yeah, it took me years to learn that last part. It wasn't easy, but now they hate me not just for what I wear, but because I won't let them take away my fun. And that makes it even better.

    I'll wear my Sailor Mars next to your Wonder Woman any day!

    Yours, Michael

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    1. You, sir, are my favorite. I want to host a con in my house and make you come do 15 costume changes! :D <3

      And, rather than leave a billion comments, I will say this to Paige: You ARE good enough. You are better than good enough. You are amazing and Wonder Woman would have been proud to know you.

      I read comics in secret when I was a teenager (I'm almost 40 at this point), seriously in the closet where the water heater lived. There was a lightbulb on a string and a Mtn. Dew can that I used as an ashtray since I was also smoking in secret. I didn't know a single person who read comic books except my brother, and it was his collection of 3000+ that I was happily devouring. It's not nearly the stigma now as it was even back in the 80s to love comics, so I can only hope that people's assface reactions will grow and change just like the definitions associated with comic lovers have changed.

      You all rule. xoxo!

      Delete
  25. Paige, I hope this reaches you. You are amazingly talented, and that comic is gorgeous, powerful, and brilliant. Please, please, please keep making your art, because you've brought something into the world that will do SO much good. I'm thinking of you, and hope you find a community that supports and loves you in the way that you deserve. I'm sorry if you've received negative attention and that's why you're shutting down the comments, but I hope you can let the love and appreciation of your art in. Giant hugs.

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  26. OK, I nearly started to cry reading the comic. It is just...so...wrong to be treated that way (for BOTH girls). You know what, though? These jerky guys aren't limited to the geeky world. They are everywhere. There are stupid, superficial guys (and girls!) who will want to make you feel bad about your appearance (and even what you're into) no matter where you go. My mamma taught me that people that put you down are only doing it because they feel like they're on a see-saw, and the only way they can feel good about THEMSELVES is to put others down. Don't play their game. God doesn't judge on the curve, and neither should we. There's something great about everyone (yes, probably even those horrible jerks, though we might have to look really hard to find it). Paige, you ROCK, so KEEP ROCKING. Find some friends who aren't on the see-saw and celebrate your awesome.

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  27. Paige, you are a cupcake in a world full of muffins! You are beautiful inside and out and don't ever let anyone tell you that you aren't. If people feel the need to belittle you because of your size, that means they have a problem, not you! You should pity them for being closed minded. You are strong and brave, and Wonder Woman would be proud to have you wear her clothes. Love yourself for all that you are, and if people have a problem with it, tell them to suck it! Keep on girl!

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  28. This hurts me. I just attended my first comic con this past weekend and dressed up my kids...but didn't cosplay myself because I lack the courage. But there were people there of all shapes and sizes, nerding out and having fun and my family is already planning costumes for next year, me included.

    They do say that hurt people hurt people, and so often we women judge each other more viciously than anyone else. I truly hope Paige feels the love of this community. We, as women, are rallying around her. I just hope she feels our geeky, heart-felt embrace.

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  29. Paige honey, I'm a LOT older than you and I can tell you, you have more class and true fan-dom in the tip of your little pinkie than all of the judgemental knuckfobs that insulted you combined. You have ALL my respect, girl. Keep on rockin' that Wonder Woman look, you nailed it!

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  30. Aww. BIG HUGS to Paige. As a non-cosplay geek (but a huge Epbot fan), let me add - Paige, there is room for us Geek Girls not just in comicons, but in real life. as one of the FEW women at my freakishly geeky company, let me assure you that most geeks welcome us without regard for our appearance or gender (and at times, blissfully, without even noticing either). And I can't wait for more geek girls like Paige to join our professional ranks!

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  31. Paige, you are not only a gutsy lady for cosplaying in the first place (and I say that of ANYONE who does it, be they wearing metal bikinis or MasterChief armor), but you are all kinds of talented. That comic is amazing and I am SO sorry you had to go through the events that inspired it. Do NOT let those jerks discourage you: you ARE the bomb.

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  32. Paige, you are wonderful and so is your work. Hang in there and you will find the good people. We all deal with the jerks (there should be some way to make them just disappear: that would be the "god almighty" power I would want) but you have a lot of support and love.

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  33. Paige, you are AWESOME! People making stupid comments like that are the insecure 11-year-olds who never grew out of that I'm-going-to-make-you-feel-bad-so-I-feel-better stage. You are incredibly talented and obviously a whole lot more everything than they could ever hope to be.

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  34. Wow. That kind of thing breaks my heart - but I can totally relate cos I've always wanted to go to a con dressed up but always thought I was too big to go dressed in costume and look good.
    Paige - you are beautiful :) Don't ever let someone tell you that you aren't. The ones who do, only do it to make themselves feel better.
    Totally going to rock a costume at the Toronto comic-con this year now, I don't care what other ppl say. Any geek girls up my way can look forward to Nathan Fillion gracing us with his presence :D
    ~erin kristine

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  35. Please pass along that I am a large, geeky woman. I've been to a few cons and I've never dressed up. My weight is the only reason why I won't. You are not alone. Thank you for expressing what so many of us feel. You are a beautiful, geeky woman and artist. Hang in there, sister!

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  36. I think Paige is amazing. She is an incredible artist, and I am so impressed with the way she chose to share her experience through her art. I'm on the Plus side myself and I've been racking my brain to find a character to cosplay that is suitable to my size instead of choosing a character that I love. Well, She's inspired me to go with my favorite comic book character. I know I will most likely suffer from the same types of comments, I'm encouraged that more plus size women are choosing to cosplay and maybe one day it will become more acceptable. I am who I am, I like what I like, and I am allowed to play too.

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  37. Well in the hopes that she finds this....
    Paige, I'm a big geek girl. I know the feeling of going as your favorite size 0 character and seeing ten other skinny girls in the same outfit. I have to say your comic hit home. It sucks, and it shouldn't happen, but it does. Still, the geek community is almost always very supportive and I hope you don't lose your passion for the things you love. Because most of us are impressed at the courage it takes anyone to cosplay and are 100% positive that you rocked the crap out of that outfit!

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  38. As a plus sized girl I know that dressing up for just about anything is one of the scariest things to do. When I go somewhere alone I find that every comment seems to affect me more and hurt more and makes me not want to go back. I find that going to these kinds of things with my sister or a friend helps a lot. Be loud and silly, talk a lot about how awesome you both are, and forget about what everyone else says (I know easier said than done). But it really does help to have someone in your corner when the jerks come out to play. Don't give up and remember that you are a lovely person :)

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  39. I try not to curse on the internet in case someday my mother somehow sees it. So Paige, anyone who would react to your complete awesomeness that way is a person who wears their posterior as a hat. Up theirs. You rock on with your fabulous geek self and know that there are tons of us geek girls out there who admire you and wish we had your bravery. Not to mention skills, because people ask me "What's that supposed to be?" when I draw stick figures.

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  40. Re: the incident portrayed so powerfully in your magnificent artwork. That should not have happened--not to you, not to anyone. If con officials didn't step in to stop the taunting and rudeness, then your fellow geeks should have. I am appalled they did not.

    Please, *please* believe us, the cool, accepting, friendly, inclusive type of geek FAR outnumbers the immature, rude, clueless ones! Don't give up on fandom, nor on cosplay, nor on your art. You. Are. Amazing. Geek Strong, lovely girl. GEEK STRONG!

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  41. True geeks are some of the most awesome people I've ever met. My personal opinion: everyone is different. Wear things in the appropriate size and don't let anyone tell you that you shouldn't wear it because of whatever reason. Even someone who doesn't know the entire canon of a character has just as much right to wear the costume as someone who knows it inside and out!

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  42. In the immortal words of MIKA: "Big girl, you are beautiful!" It's sad that if you look at female nerds, people expect the hot gamer girl, the Amy Pond, the Felicia Day. The real people who actually enjoy geek culture get shoved aside.

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  43. Paige, me and my husband think you rock! Hang in there girl, not all men are jerks.

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  44. Paige, you are a beautiful, genuine woman. Please don't let other people make you feel any different. I have never considered myself thin, and I think it is almost impossible to look like the comic book standard female character--I understand how you feel. I am going to my first con this summer, and your story will be with me the whole time. Just know you are not alone, and that you are loved! And you are a fantastic artist to boot :)

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  45. Hi, I am the artist of this comic. Thank you for all the positive feedback and comments (and I guess I can let it slide that you posted an awful picture of me crying... hahaha.)

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you found this post, Paige! And please keep checking back; I have a feeling you'll be getting LOTS more comments!

      Delete
    2. Paige, none of us think your photo is awful, it's awesome! I am guessing most of us have been there, too (I know I have) - and we are amazed at your honesty, bravery and extreme, extreme talent! You are a lovely young woman.

      I think your comic and your picture are both terrific. I am very glad you have such a supportive teacher.

      Keep drawing, keep cosplaying and don't let the loud voices of one or two jerks overshadow the admiration of many shy, quiet people - me among them.

      Delete
    3. I have no words - just know how awesome you are, sweet girl. WE believe in you. Lean on us for a bit - no prob.

      Delete
    4. The comic was gorgeous -- beautiful in the drawing and message. I was startled at how nice it felt to see someone who looked like me in a comic, and I appreciated the honesty of it. Please keep drawing and keep loving the stuff you love... you are inspiring others of us...

      Delete
    5. Paige, your comic was fantastic -- You are an amazing artist and obviously an incredible person as well. My preteen daughter and I will be at the San Diego Comic Con again this year and we were JUST talking at dinner about how I didn't want to cosplay...And I didn't say it to her, but it's because I, like 99.99% of women, do not have a "comic book body". But then, neither do the guys at the Con, and they seem to have no problem dressing up as Captain America! So, thanks to your amazingness, anyone at SDCC in July will see me...as an elf!

      Delete
  46. DO NOT let the creeps get you down! Your art work is great and so is the storytelling. More people will see it and be empowered by your experience than the shallow "sexy" cosplayers. That's the ONLY way they have to have to validate themselves.

    Please read this everyone: While there is wonderful, creative burst of cosplay going on, I am saddened by all the sexpots in glued on, barely there costumes. It isn't safe (I can't imagine going to Comic-Co in San Diego dressed that way,)and it just perpetuates the stereotypical female so prevalent in comics, movies, etc. You can make an awesome costume and rock it without tits and ass falling out. But we need to make our selves heard and support the women like Paige. You GO girl!

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  47. Paige, those people do not understand geeky awesomeness like yours. Even in a "fringe" social group like cosplay/conventions, some people can not escape the cool kids mentality and seek to elevate themselves by putting others down. I am presently trading in some karma points to make sure they get bit by a hundred mosquitoes. Now, pay the trolls no mind and carry on!

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  48. Paige, you are talented and beautiful and I'm sorry some jackasses ruined your experience.

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  49. Paige, I don't know what to say, really. but I really do bet you looked awesome. Don't let people knock you down. Just know that you are awesome and totally loved. ::hugs::

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  50. I hope she gets her courage back and does this again. Some people feel the need to bring others down just because we can never look like the impossible figured women in comic books. These people need to grow up and open their eyes to the real world. Any one who is willing to cosplay and not be a size zero is a hero and an inspiration.

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  51. That girl has some crazy skills in making comics. And drawing. And she's BEAUTIFUL. Don't worry about naysayers. They're probably just jealous of you and your skills! :)

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  52. Amazed and inspired by your bravery, Paige! Your artwork is truthful, eloquent, and gutsy--just like you, I'm sure! I'd love to have a friend like you, and I hope you have caring, supportive people in your life who can tell you just how awesome you are!

    It's true that sometimes the world is cruel, hateful, and generally sucks; but there are good people, sunny days, and little moments of fun and wonder out there too. Always remember: stay geeky and carry on!

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  53. This made me cry. The comic was beautiful. And tragic. I think pretty much every woman can relate to those feelings, regardless of their size. We all feel judged at times. I hope Paige knows how beautiful and talented she is, though.

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  54. I'm a size 22 and am currently working on a steampunk Wonder Woman costume (in part because it's more conservative), so I really understand how you feel, Paige.

    BUT I am here to say YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

    Have you seen the "We Are All Wonder Women!" Print by Sarah and Catherine Satrun? http://sarahsatrun.blogspot.ca/2013/04/we-are-all-wonder-women.html

    It is awesome and perfect, because we truly ARE ALL wonder women. And we are out there.

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  55. This is just fabulous. I'm a therapist for teens and it's going on my wall today.

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  56. I know you like to promote cons, Jen, but they're probably not the best introduction to fandom that someone, especially a woman, can have.

    I highly recommend joining a science fiction club, if there's one nearby or in driving distance. A good list can be found here.

    You'll get a chance to know people, to get into deeper discussions, and have much less judgment thrown at you than at a con.

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  57. This really hit home with me as I am currently ironing stars on my Wonder Woman maternity costume for Ottawa Comic Con.
    The double standard when it comes to cosplay seems to slowly be crumbling, the more strong women who go against the flow the better.
    I will be thinking of you, Paige when I proudly wear my costume next weekend.

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    1. "Wonder Woman maternity costume"

      LOVE IT!!!! You just made my day!!!! :D You are one awesome chica!!!

      Delete
  58. <3

    I'm always afraid people are snarking out behind my back (I've never heard it to my face) but at age 40 I finally realized I was going to stop waiting until I felt the confidence I wished for, and just decided to dress up if I freakin want to. I'm always nervous before I step out, but then I remember, anyone who doesn't like it can go. to. hell. And I think of all the awesome brave cosplayers out there like Paige and I think, if she can rock it, so can I.

    I hope we're always brave enough to do what we want.

    (insert "Naysayers Gonna Naysay" graphic here)

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  59. Yay! Thanks for helping find Paige, Jen!

    Paige, I first saw your Wonder Woman cosplay yesterday on Tumblr. A friend had rebloged it. I loved it. I'm one of those overweight customers and started doing that waaaay back in the bad old days of the 70's. Fortunately, I was lucky. Never got any of that crap. Mostly because back then, female fans were starting to attend cons more and more. Star Trek brought us out. And it kind of both baffled and tickled the male fans. Trek cons were always more evenly balanced, but comic book cons were still rather heavily male.

    Don't let the little twits get you down! We are women! Hear us roar! Stand tall in whatever costume you decide to wear. You are beautiful and a fangirl! I don't know where you live, but if you ever get to a con in NYC, let us know!

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  60. Paige, you are wonderful! Your drawings are really great! You are an awsome person and I admire you for your courage to dress as Wonder Woman. I'm a size 20 and I can't even show myself naked to my boyfriend without feeling a bit ashamed and wondering what he thinks of me. He doesn't care I'm big and I know it, but I still wonder. Heck, we've been together for 15 years and we have two kids, so...

    Kudos to you for going for it!

    Don't let people bring you down. If they think bad of you because of your size or your geekiness, then they are ugly on the inside. And everybody knows that the most important part of a person is the inside!

    You are a talented, beautiful, awsome and wonderful woman! You go, girl!

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  61. This so true. Your comic is awesome. It really hits the nail on the head and shows EXACTLY what the problem is.

    They say they support women and then they draw them as shapes that are almost impossible to live up to. I also loved how you showed both sides of the story, neither the skinny girl with the costume or you with the costume were considered good enough. Its a catch 22. And I know what its like to absolutely love a storyline even if the characters dress skimpy, because the story is cool.

    The only thing I've ever felt comfortable cosplaying in is a Jedi Robe so I really admire you for going with the Wonder Woman Costume.

    So thank you for making your comic.

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  62. Hi Paige (and Jen and anyone else who is reading this),
    First off thanks to Paige for the amazing comic and thanks to Jen for the amazing blog. As someone with social anxiety disorder who has been having a very rough week in that regards, I'm just amazingly inspired and awed by both of you.
    Paige, you have beat my courage in spades by even going to a convention, much less going in costume. Crying pictures are tough to pull off but you've somehow still managed a gorgeous one. Thank you for having the courage to go out in costume, thank you for being able to put your feelings into amazing pictures, and thank you for your courage to put it all online. I cannot tell you how much I wish I had a tenth of your strength (and ability to pull of crying pictures :P)
    Jen, I don't want to distract too much from the praise for Paige with praise for you, but I would be remiss if I didn't thank you for your amazing blog(s) and sharing. It often lifts my spirits when I'm having a bad anxiety week. You have managed so much of what I would want to to have and I admire you so much for that.

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  63. I don't really know what to say, so I'll just just say this. Paige, I REALLY admire your courage and strength! I also admire the stand you're taking, and more people need to join in and say, "NO MORE." I understand what plus-sized women go through from personal experience, and it's disgusting. But never let their comments get you down for too long, because you'll always have family and, yes, even random people on the internet, cheering you on.

    Keep the great work up. You're a wonderful role model.

    -River Psalm

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  64. Hi Paige. Your art is beautiful I don't have to meet you to know that you must be, too. Your story is heart-wrenching, but wonderful--both in it's truth and in your willingness to share. Please know that strangers all over the world are reaching out to give you a hug and let you know that we admire your lovely attitude and gumption. Keep it up!

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  65. Paige,
    I would love to have the guts to put on a costume and declare who I am and what I like. Even more than that, I wish I had the guts to be as honest as you are in the comic. Much love to you from a secret geek only wishes she could be as brave as you.

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  66. Hey Paige!
    I'm 5'1" and 170lbs. My best friend (a guy) has always told me I can't be Wonder Woman because 'your body isn't right', after all 'she's a real amazon'. If you're strong enough to be Wonder Woman, I guess I could be too. Are you going to DragonCon? We could walk around together and lend each other strength.

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  67. This nearly brought me to tears. You are amazing, Paige. I don't cosplay but know people who do, and I think they are horrified that there are people who go to cons and spend (waste) their time insulting enthusiastic, beautiful geeky women. I have no doubt that you looked incredible in your Wonder Woman costume!

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  68. Your art is beyond eloquent. Please keep it up for those of us who can't draw. (or have the nerve to go to a ComicCon).

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  69. There are so many HATERS in this world! As an analogy to your pain, I am an aspiring nutritionist (R.D.) who is a big girl. I get constant judgement and rude comments about my appearance/weight/age, etc... I sometimes cry over this and get really frustrated. But you know what, I'm doing what I want to do and try not to let the haters rule my world. I totally understand your frustration and know you want to knock some nerd skulls! I mean, wtf?! They look at this totally demeaning sh*t about women and then CONDEMN women for dressing up like them, whether they fit the image or not. What a bunch of losers. Paige - put an "L" on your forehead anytime you see a loser guy make a disrespectful comment to you - because that's what they are!! You rock it, honey, and know that you are being cheered on in the sidelines. ;D

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  70. Paige, you are awesome. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

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  71. Paige, I saw your comic on Tumblr a few days ago, and it made me teary AND gave me goosebumps. Even now, reading it again, every time I've seen it reblogged on Tumblr - same effect. Thank you for being so awesome.

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  72. I am so sorry that those ass-hats made you feel this way. Keep on saving the world, Wonder Woman! All the world is waiting for you...

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  73. Paige, you are amazing! You make me want to stand up and fight for the confidence that all we women deserve to have!! I think we should get a huge group together, all shapes and sizes and ages in WW costume and descend on one of these cons. We should pose and take pictures of ourselves everywhere and then we should go to the local hospital and surprise the children's ward! The true mission of a superhero is to spread truth and justice and we should celebrate our truth, we are good enough just he way we are. You are so talented! Let me know how I can support you!!

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  74. Paige, from another "big" girl - beauty comes from what is inside and I know you are far more beautiful than anyone who would berate you. Magazine girls (comics included) aren't real so next time you look in the mirror, please tell yourself you are beautiful and mean it.

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  75. Paige, your comic made me cry -- and want to break some insensitive goons' kneecaps. It's amazing how -- with a few drawn frames -- you can convey so much, and bring out such emotion in others. You're an amazing artist/writer, and I'll bet you looked gorgeous. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  76. Paige, you keep rocking your geekery and even if you haven't learned to love loving geek stuff yet, know that a lot of people love the fact you love geek stuff and hopefully that will be enough for today, to be improved on tomorrow :) That comic should never have had to be written, but you're brave for doing it and hopefully one day it won't be needed anymore. We're all working for that x

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  77. You are so beautiful! And SO brave. To even step out in that costume you have lived a dream that so many of us are too scared to take. I'm so SO sorry that it turned out the way it did, but please let me tell you that you are an inspiration. And your art is as gorgeous as you are.

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  78. I saw this on Tumblr the other day. I bawled my eyes out. I am that fat girl that cosplays characters "too skinny" for her. Yes, I get self conscious and yes I have allowed negativity to chase me away from doing it but seeing posts like these gives me the strength to get out there and to tell naysayers to eat a d**k. Cosplay isn't about size, color or creed; it's about the love and admiration of a character and their story.

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  79. Paige, you are a beautiful woman- inside and out. Don't let the jerks in the world get in your head! I feel your pain- i'm a normal shaped female as well, not a comic book barbie. That little voice in our heads that is constantly judging our own bodies needs to be hushed, as do the arse-wipes who would DARE say something cruel to Wonder Woman. Hang in there & know all of your geeky sisters love you!

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  80. Paige,
    From one woman to another, those that feel the need to rip another person apart are the weak. They use it as a shield to hide their own vulnerabilities. You keep on being you, stand proud, stand strong and know you are not alone. You are truly, a WONDER WOMAN!

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  81. Paige, yes. There are people out there like that. But if you know where to look there are lots of people who respect us women for who we are and what we love. I happen to work with a lot of them. It takes a lot of courage to be who we are and love what we do. Don't let other people stop you from being proud!

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  82. Paige, you are awesome. Geeks usually know what it is to feel rejection, and should be working not to perpetuate it. This is not what respect feels like, to quote your comic. But don't give up, because what respect DOES feel like is out there too. Your comic touched a nerve; but that means you have power to create change. Be strong Wonder Woman! And everyone else who's commenting on this, please follow the advice above - when you hear that, stick up for people! If jerks who throw out those insults end up with everyone else around them telling them to stuff it and be supportive, they'll stop saying those things.

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  83. This is why I love Epbot and Jen.

    I don't think there's enough ativan to get me to a con. Paige is AWESOME and BRAVE and has good taste in heroes. And deserves hugs forever.

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  84. You are awesome!! Don't let the haters get you down!! I wish I had the guts to cosplay, but I never will!

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  85. Hi Paige!! As a fellow fluffy cosplayer (I'm 5'0" and 250lbs) I know your pain. I HATE having something I've worked so hard on and that I love so much mocked just because I'm the one wearing it and not my 98lb sister. It's gotten so bad for me that I started cosplaying characters I didn't even LIKE just because I wanted to dress up and not get made fun of.... ya know what? That made me hate myself even more, so I put on what I love... because assholes like that aren't worthy of my time or tears. People make fun of beautiful women every day (and yes, you are beautiful, I saw the pic up top) just because we don't fit societies perfect image. It's not fair. But, with comics like yours and women having the courage to cosplay like you do, we're changing that! Much love to you, you're amazing.... definitely a Wonder Woman to be proud of!

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  86. PAIGE: I think you are amazing and talented and adorable! Don't let the bastards bring you down. I also think you are a great role model. I showed my daughter your cartoon. She said to tell you that you ARE Wonder Woman and you ARE respected (She's 17).
    You are loved and unique.
    HUGS!!!

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  87. Paige,

    Be who you are. Screw the rest and don't give them the satisfaction of hurting your feelings. Just because they have a vision of their perfect person, doesn't mean you have to change to fit that vision (and most of them are unrealistic anyway). Put on your Penelope Garcia pants and ignore those that don't appreciate your spirit!

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  88. Paige,

    Thank you so much for speaking up and speaking out for _all_ the women who don't fit the ridiculous images comic books and other pop culture hold up. And for being brave enough to do it.

    I'm a curvy girl (size 20) who loves cosplay like woah but who hovers around the edges, trying to find the rounder characters to dress. (Yay Molly Weasley?)

    There are a lot of us geeky sorts out there who understand respect, who have a lot of curves or even none at all, and/or who are far more attracted to an abundance of curves or angles.

    Clearly we need a Unreal-Body-Type Resistance League. Paige can be our leader. :D

    Confidence is damn sexy and damn powerful.

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  89. This comic is a big deal. I mean really, a big, big deal. I am so thankful for people like Paige who have the talent, courage, and grace to articulately convey things like this. That comic is poignant.

    I'm far too chicken to cosplay. Paige is my hero. I don't mean that to sound glib- it's not. I am in awe of her for dressing up an showing up. I'm further in awe of her turning a terrible experience into a beautiful piece of art.

    I want to feel sorry for the jerks at cons who say such mean things. I know they are not happy people. I know that many of them live alone or in their parents' basement and their ideas of women come only from porn. That's sad. But... as humans, we have a responsibility to be kind to each other. Don't spread your sad around. That's where Paige won this one. She could have used a bad experience to hurt others as the rude people at the cons do. But instead, she created something moving and shared it.

    She won. And now she has the whole of the EPBOT fan base on her side. That's quite an army. We could have our own con.

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  90. Paige, you are so courageous. I could never dress up at a Con and put myself out there like that. You did. And then you had the courage to tell an ugly truth with your beautiful art. I am in awe of you.

    Please, please, don't give up on dressing up for Cons! I'm going to keep hoping that one day Epbot will post a picture of your triumphant return to Comic Con, surrounded by fans, with a huge smile on your face.

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  91. Dearest one: you are amazing. Wonder Woman would be proud to call you friend! As a 5'2" 170 (at least) gal I understand and don't have the courage you do to wear shorts in public, let alone a costume. You are my superhero!

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  92. I love this. I know what it feels like to be you. The only difference between me and you is that you had the confidence to go to a comic con (which i dont) and your passion is so strong its motivating and inspiring. You're gonna get really far. And I know this as a fact, <3.

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  93. Paige, you are a beautiful and talented woman. I wish that our society was more about embracing true beauty rather than the crazy ideals of how people should look, how they should think and what they should or shouldn't do. I hope that your art brings you closer to the amazing, kind and loving people out there that can admire true beauty and talent as well as embrace your passions. Hang in there, Paige. There is lots of love for you here.

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  94. Holy smokes, Paige--your art is gorgeous! It's really perfect! I can't draw, paint, sculpt, or sew, so you have my utmost respect. I wish I could or I'd be making costumes.

    But, I must say you've inspired me to put together a costume for a con. I'm fat, so I understand how you feel. I really want to get out there now and show people that there's no reason why everyone can't enjoy the Geek Universe.

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  95. Wonder Woman, the Amazon Princess, she has been a hero for girls and women for generations. Paige, whether you know it or not you are part of that grand tradition. Wonder Woman has been made and re-made, her story arc has been written by some of the most talented writers out there, and you are writing her story too. No matter what any small minded hurtful person might say Wonder Woman has never been about the bombshell body, she's about being a fierce, loyal, outstanding kick-butt woman. So let all those posers pretend they 'know' about Wonder Woman, you my friend are Wonder Woman in all her best moments.

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  96. I have a great friend named Rachelle who went to Sakuracon for her honeymoon. She and her husband went as Juvia and Gray from the anime Fairy Tale. Her outfit was professionally made. Rachelle is a beautiful woman but larger than Juvia is drawn (because it's anime) and she got called so many mean things not only from other people but also by other people in the fandom that she sold her outfit when she got home. It's hard because she is so supportive of others in the fandom but when it was her time to shine she got shot down.

    Paige, you are not alone. I can empathize with this so much. Just know that you are an inspiration to so many women. There were other there who saw you and wished that they had your confidence.

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  97. Paige, I admire you so much! Thank you for your art-- & thank you for being so brave.

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  98. That costume needs to come OUT of the closet, because I'm pretty sure you rocked it...hard not to let the turkeys get you down, and so much easier said than done, but I hope you won't turn your back on something you love because of a few idiots. Get a group together, go en masse with others who understand what costuming/cosplay is all about, and plan to have a great time. Your artwork is beautiful and inspiring, just like you!

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  99. Paige, I admire you and your courage for wearing your Wonder Woman costume. I personally do not like the sexed-up costumes. I appreciate the authentic ones, and from just reading your comic, your costume looked great. I would love it if you would share a picture with everyone here, you will have so much love and support.

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  100. Paige! Your art rules. You are so talented. I hope you keep going to cons and keep your chin up, those butts who made bad remarks, grrr argh.

    Whatever shape or size all of us are, we are all Wonder Women, otherwise we would never make it through a day.

    Big hugs from Canada!

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  101. Paige - your art is awesome! I wish I could do stuff like that!!! YOU are awesome. I've been going to anime, comic, and gaming conventions for 20 years and can say there are real jerks there but there are really awesome people too! Ignore the jerks and be yourself. Do what you want. I wish I had the courage to dress up, but I don't. Maybe I will after reading your story :) Just know that all us Epbot readers love you!

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  102. Hey Paige!! Are you going to ComicCon in San Diego this summer, by chance?? Let me know - I'd love to buy you lunch or dinner or snacks or coffee or wine or beer or soda or . . . I'm totally serious, girlfriend. You rock the socks off this planet. I'd be so honored to meet you.

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  103. This comic is so powerful and I'd love to buy a copy, Paige, so I hope you decide to sell prints!

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  104. Hey Paige,

    Your comic rocks! It REALLY rocks! You are a great artist and storyteller!

    When I was a teenager I had a horrible gym teacher. He was a real jerk and would make the girls who didn't fit his image of an athlete feel awful. I had this PE teacher for 3 years. Those feelings of inadequacy stayed with me for a long time. When I turned 50 I decided to "got for it". I am 51 now and involved in triathlon. Never in my life did I think I could do what I have done in the past year. Just last Sunday I ran my first 10 kilometer race. Don't let the jerks and creeps keep you from your dreams.

    KC

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  105. Paige, you are amazing, beautiful and courageous! I'd love to have the guts to put myself out there as you've done! Hugs for you!

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  106. I am a very large woman and I would never have the courage to get out in front of anyone wearing any type of costume. Paige, I applaud you for your strength and cheer you on.

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  107. And Jen, I love that you use your internet powers for good! Thanks for being here!

    Paige, I hope you find a network here of people who will hang out with you at your next con - there's definitely strength in numbers!

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  108. Paige! I love your art style and your comic--not only in terms of theme, emotion and message, but also in terms of quality, color and mood. You are brave for cosplaying. You are braver for cosplaying at a con. You are brave for baring your soul in this comic and sharing your message with the world. You are Wonder Woman, you used your pencil as your golden truth lasso! I do not love Wonder Woman for her bosom or her bathing beauty uniform. I love that she stands for justice, for strength, for truth! She just so happens to be a bad ass while doing it and proves that she can run with the "boys" in Justice League. Keep making amazing art and know that you are a badass :) Wear the uniform, don't let the uniform wear you--and anyone who says anything otherwise is not worth your time or your tears <3 *love*

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  109. I cried reading this ... Paige, be proud to be the awesome woman you are! I'd be more than happy to walk a a convention in costume beside you! Keep being yourself ... the people who are worth your time will appreciate how AMAZING you are for being a girl geek!

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  110. I never knew I could love something SO much. Paige, if you are reading this - thank you for illustrating the feelings that we girl geeks feel everyday. I'm so sorry that all of those jerks at Comic Con could not see the beauty we all see in you today. Thank you for introducing Paige's coming to Jen. Once again, you amaze me.

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  111. You are amazing, Paige. You are my hero.

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  112. Paige,
    You rock.

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  113. Paige, I'm a big girl, and I wish I had the guts and courage to even try to cosplay! You did, and I sincerely hope that you will again. Please don't let some ignorant fools keep you from letting your geek flag fly! Loves!

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  114. Go in peace my daughter. And remember that, in a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman.

    Cheers, Paige.

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  115. My wife went to a con recently in a home-made TARDIS costume since they don't do anything like that in her size. She looked great!
    Paige, I wish we could've seen your Wonder Woman costume, I bet it was awesome. Don't let anyone tell you what you can and can't be, least of all the mysogenistic arseholes who make such nasty comments like in your comic. They literally are not worth wasting time thinking about.

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  116. I am a 60 year old 300 lb geek woman and have gone to Dragon Con twice. I usually dress up as a pirate or hobbit--it matches my wheelchair, but this year my daughters (also plus sized) are wearing corsets and cosplaying characters from "Girl Genius". We are all excited as hell. I admire your courage and choice of costume. It sucks for air that you were made to feel bad about yourself, but I hope you realize that there are billions of us who believe in you and in our goddess given right to wear whatever the hell we want to when we cosplay. The bigger cons seem beginning to collect the same kind of assholes who go to sports events mainly to drink beer, but we can let them know that they are completely out of line if they put down anyone for whom they have chosen to portray. It shouldn't take long for the jerks to get bored and go back to ignoring the geeks, like they have done for centuries. Remember, too, that we are beginning to outnumber the sobs. Mwahahaha. PS. I can't make it to DragonCon this year (can't afford the electric scooter) but hope to be there next year in something outrageously flamboyant!

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  117. Paige, darling. You wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL woman.

    Do not--I repeat, DO NOT--let a bunch of douchnoodles get you down. They are not worth a moment of angst or one single tear. You are a beautiful, lovely, wonderful, intelligent, creative geek/nerd and I salute you. Keep making your art, keep going to Cons dressed as whomever you want, and keep being awesome.

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  118. Paige, you are talented and beautiful! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise or make you feel like you're not good enough. Get out there and show your Wonderful self to the world!

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  119. This is beautiful and so are you - Paige, you are awesome person and fan. We are the women warriors and that means standing up to the "slings and arrows" of geeks who can't love themselves enough to enjoy and appreciate fellow fans. Know that we love you and are sending you many, many hugs and kudos on your costumed awesomeness. Keep it up and I hope to see you at the next convention!!

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  120. Paige, I understand your pain so well. When we went to Disney World a couple of years ago, my daughters wanted me to go to the Bippity Boppity Boutique with them and get my hair and glitter done at the same time they got their hair and glitter done. I did, because it was my darling little princesses who asked. But I got looked askance at and muttered to all day from other adults. I'm very overweight, and there isn't anything remotely princess-y about my figure. More like Ursula proportions, if you will. It hurt so much, and I prayed my daughters didn't hear any of the comments.

    I'm so proud of you for having the courage to dress as Wonder Woman. I always liked her! And I'm sure you looked fantastic! These people who only like waifish women simply do not know their art history. The buxom, Ruben-esque figures ruled for many years in art. I wish we could get back to those days. Keep your chin up, dear. You're beautiful!

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    1. Guess what! Even ursula can look fabulous: i've cosplayed her, too! (http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mapjn9JrzU1qjtsgko2_r1_1280.jpg) Hehe. Please do not feel bad. You should never feel bad no matter what you look like.

      - Paige

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  121. Go Paige! Thank-you so much for sharing your story with us.

    As a fluffy female geek, I know your story well. There is such a double standard!

    Keep fighting the good fight. You ARE a wonder woman.

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  122. Paige please don't let the haters turn you off of your passion. I too am a large geek girl and I am proud of it. When I stopped being able to fit into those "one size fits all" costumes I began ordering online, when I could not find anything for Plus size girls bigger then a 2x I decided it was time to dig out that sewing machine and figure out how to make my own damn stuff. It is not always easy. I want to look and feel sexy and sometimes that is not possible in ready to wear so I make it myself. It is not always perfect and stuff is ill fitting, and don't even get me started on my close up seams but you know what I enjoy making them. My husband works on stuff with me, we make all sorts of mistakes and put them on and hope no one will notice.
    For Halloween we went out as Steampunk Red Riding Hood (notice I left out little???) and Steampunk Doc Ock and guess what...we had people following us down the street to get a pic. With all the flashing lights and ray guns no one was paying attention to the fact that we are both large and our costumes had all sorts of issues. We were dressed up we were having fun and people felt that and joined in.
    I am sorry you had a bad experience at a Con, that can be the hardest place to feel "good" about yourself if you suffer from confidence problems. I remember one year I dressed as a super sexy Harlequin, I thought I looked hot, sadly by the end of the day I did not feel the same way. The following year I did not even bother dressing up, but the year after I realized I was letting other people dictate how I feel about myself if I let their options prevent me from doing something I love.
    So I set out to find outfits I felt good in and enjoyed wearing and any chance I get to dress up I do it. I am already planning Halloween and my next convention.
    Please don't give up on us all yet, I suspect you will find many of us who will like you for who you already are and not who others think you should be. I also suspect your next con will look and feel a whole lot different then this last one because I am positive you are going to meet people from this form and others who want to hang out with a hot wonder woman like you, I know I would happily dust off my old Harlequin outfit and go to a con with you.

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  123. You rock Paige!!! Keep on being yourself!!

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  124. Paige,
    If I lived near you, I would find a way to dress up and be brave and fierce at the very next con we could find. We could get a whole army of powerful women to join us.
    Your art is beautiful and your story is sad, but oh so true.
    I wish so much I was there and could have turned to whoever said those mean things to you. You can bet I would have gently walked right up and said "excuse me? Did you just SAY that?" and I would give them the kind of evil eye stare that I usually reserve for people who are terrible drivers (and anything else rude that makes me crazy.)
    Because they were wrong and ugly to say those things, to comment on your appearance and make you feel unwelcome. I believe with my years of experience ((cough, cough, that means I'm OLD)) ... I would have been right in someone's grill, smiling and asking them if they thought it was okay. Cuz, you know, I see a lot of people at Cons, men and women, whose passion makes them beautiful. I believe you are one of them.
    There are also those chicken-&%$# people who think they can call someone out from an anonymous vantage point and feel brave. Those folks that are not very good at social interaction. They need to work on their own inner beauty.
    I hope you don't give up on cons and wearing what you want. I also hope the Epbot community near you finds a way to give you moral and physical support at your next outing. Don't let the mean people win, okay? I want to hear your story has a HAPPY ending, so let's write one!

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  125. Paige, my favorite part about being a geek is that you can be yourself without giving a damn what other people think. I'd pick a sci-fi over a best seller any day; math class over PE; have a LAN party over going to a nightclub, and I don't care what anyone else thinks. A true geek WILL respect the same of other geeks. Just because my fandom is different than yours does NOT give me the right to disrespect you. If you and I have different body types, or it does NOT give me the right to make insensitive comments. You are a beautiful girl, and I'm willing to bet a whole lot more interesting than 90% of the other girls in your school...because as a geek you ARE willing to be yourself, no matter how scary that can be. Be proud of who you are, the world needs more people like you.

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  126. You are my hero, Paige. <3 <3 <3

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  127. Amazing artwork, Paige. You are very brave. I've yet to even get to a comic con, and I'm not sure I could dress up. I know I worry too much what people think. If I ever get to go I'm taking a friend. Wanna go? You could help me be brave, and I'll tell you how awesome you're costume is!:-)

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  128. As a plus sized minister who has been known to preach in full black robes, gym shoes, and a blue faux-hawk, I can say with all of my heart- you are a hero. Your work is admirable, and your joy in the worlds of fantasy and fiction should not be quenched.

    Be who you are proudly- there are a lot of us out here rooting for you.

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  129. Paige, your art is amazing and so are you. Don't let the people who aren't truly geeks and nerds tear you down, because those of us that have been geeks and nerds since day one wouldn't ever speak to a fellow nerd/geek like that. Such behavior is reprehensible and all those people who treated you like that should be ashamed of themselves. Qapla', Paige!

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  130. I was JUST talking to my boyfriend today about how I wanted to cosplay as a catgirl in a fur bikini with ears & a tail, but I didn't want to deal with the backlash because of my less-than-perfect figure. :c I feel you, Paige! *hug*

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  131. I had a conversation with a male geek friend of mine just this week about cosplay, and he said people should only cosplay if they look like the person they're dressing up as. I had my own moment of inarticulate rage as I looked down at my own overweight body and felt judged unworthy. Thank you, Paige, for giving me a voice.

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  132. Paige, You are amazing!!! As a geeky woman who has gone through alot of the same judgements from other people, I want you to know you aren't alone. I play D&D, love comics and many more geeky things that used to be "boys clubs". It got me down how I was treated, but I kept doing it anyway and I finally found a great group of guys (Literally, I'm the only girl in the group)who enjoyed having me around. I even met my husband because of my geekiness. Basicly, keep doing what you love. You're amazing and you need to show it. :)

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  133. Thank you for creating the WonderWomen comic. Cosplaying is love, and should be respected as art and theater. Last night someone asked me if I'd ever been "out-geeked." I had to answer, "I'm not geeky enough for most congoers." The fact is, no matter how much I know about a topic, I'm denegrated and my knowledge and love downgraded externally befause I am a woman and how I look...no matter how I look. Your art is beautiful. Keep at it! Success and respect come to those who try :)

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  134. I don't comment on Epbot often, though I read here all the time, but I feel compelled to tell you that you are awesome! You were brave and I am so proud of you. I am in awe of your talent and bravery. Don't give up. Hugs!

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  135. Paige,

    Anyone who goes out in costume is amazingly brave! It shouldn't have to be that way, but unfortunately there are people who want to ruin it for the rest of us. I recently dressed up as a pirate for a presentation I gave and was really nervous that people were going to make fun of me, especially since I'm not the skinniest person. Instead, people there asked me to take my picture with them, which totally made my day. I almost chickened out because I was afraid someone was going to tell me I was too fat to be Jack Sparrow. I hope you put on that Wonder Woman costume again and tell people that you are wonderful, no matter what size you are. Hang in there! We're all in this together. :-)

    Jen,
    Thank you for sharing this with the rest of us geeks! We all need to stick together.

    Rob

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  136. Oh Paige honey you are beautiful and talented and georgous! You wear that costume for yourself and not for anyone else. You have every right to it and if they try to put you down just be a duck and let it all run off your back. You are wonderful, and strong...you wearing your Wonder Woman and being proud of it is a huge ray of light to other women!
    Hugs my darling!
    Vixen

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  137. I am blown away by your artistic abilities and your ability to express yourself through them. Keep on cosplayin' girl!!

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  138. Anybody that follows Jen knows to what I refer when I say I can't begin to tell you my dress size or weight and have as much impact as to tell you that when properly measured I wear a K cup (!) on my bra size. How many people knew they even go up that high? Am I ever, ever going to wear a Wonder Woman costume? Ain't nobody got a costume for that! So, Paige, to me you are not only beautiful inside and out and an amazing artist with awesome skills -- but you're relatively skinny, too! I'm big, beautiful, and blown away by the love and support here.

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  139. I love you. I love your courage. I think you're wonderful. And I wish I could give you a rib-crunching hug.

    You are more courageous than I am, and you're a heroine to me since I first saw that comic.

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  140. Hey there, Paige! You are a brave and awesome person, not to mention a moving artist. Stay strong! People are jerks. You are not. Actually, you're an inspiration. I bet for every one of those vocal mockers (the aforementioned jerks) there was at least one gal wishing she had been brave enough to come in costume. Way to go!

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  141. Do your thing Wonder Woman!!! Keep up the good work being a voice for reason in a world full of intolerance.

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  142. You rock your cosplay Paige! Anyone worth knowing will see your worth. Keep your head up and know hundreds are behind you!

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  143. Although my daughter does cosplay, I have always been tentative about cosplaying myself for exactly these reasons.Thank you for your bravery, despite the pain and the stupidity of others. You are amazing.

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  144. In my con-going experience the reaction to this sort of thing depends on what size and kind of con it is. The really large comic book conventions seem to be the absolute worst because they seem to attract the type of men who just aren't socialized to deal with women. I've found smaller cons and anime oriented cons to be much friendlier and more accepting of all kinds of people involving themselves in cosplay. Of course, it doesn't mean there still aren't a few assholes, but I hope they don't drive awesome people away from cons, which can be such a great, welcoming experience.

    And as someone who's always been larger, it's incredibly brave to put on that costume and go out there. It's not something I would have the guts to do, though I am a cosplayer. So Paige, you rock.

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  145. Miss Paige! Your comic completely gave me poochie lip, and my four little geeklings don't understand how boys can be mean to girls that are plain awesome. Unfortunately, there are mega-jerks everywhere (even in our beloved geek community). Don't let them bring you down!! The nice guys and gals really are out there. I bet you looked absolutely amaze-balls in your WW outfit. Maybe you need a real lasso to wrangle those buttheads. Dry those gorgeous peepers, chickie, and know that we geeky ladies are all standing with you. I'll be rockin' my Wonder Woman t-shirt in your honor tomorrow!

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  146. Paige, you are beautiful. Life is full of trials, how we deal with them is what shapes us as a person. Please, please, don't let these people bring you down. Lift your head honey, look them in the eye and smile. Rock who you are because at the end of the day, you'll go home with peace, and they'll go back to being misrable with their own demons. Our journey around the sun is a brief one, fill it with joys, and release the sorrows to the wind. Tomorrow is built on the bricks WE lay, make yours out of sunshine.
    Nikki T

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  147. Paige, my heart hurts for your experience because Geekdom is supposed to be a safe place. I'm with Jen, I bet you looked amazing and anybody who said anything negative to you was beyond an ass.

    We need to step up as a Geek Community if stuff like this is happening--thank you for taking the time and emotional energy to make your comic.

    The next time I see someone treat another person this way, I'm calling them out. I'm telling them it's not okay. And I'm doing it for you.

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  148. As a curvy geek girl and a costumer, people can be amazing cruel and immature, but your response is very mature and you showed the guts to do what you love. Never let someone else take away your happy. It's hard to hold onto it when someone else is actively making fun of you. (((Huggles)))

    It's easy to say "do it because you love it, not because of what others say", but it's a very hard thing to do. Don't let some unkind people take your joy away.

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  149. Paige, I hope you get up the courage to try cosplay out again and encounter some better people (I swear they're out there----it's just that the jerks are more vocal). I bet you looked amazing, and, not only that, truly embodied the spirit of the character. Wonder Woman would be proud.

    (Also guys, can we not slam 'sexy' cosplayers in general? I am one, and while I'm not supporting bikini version characters or needlessly sexualized characters like a stripper Captain America or something, just because somebody cosplays a sexy character doesn't mean they're 'shallow', or 'not a real fan'. I love all the characters I cosplay, and just because I'm more or less built like the superhero gals doesn't mean it's a jamwalk for me either. Just like the other girl in the comic, I get mean comments and I'm told that I must just be doing it for attention. Emma Frost [and I cosplay a toned down version of her, because like hell am I wearing a thong in public] is 100% the hardest cosplay I've ever done, emotionally. But I really like her sarcastic snottiness and I find her personality fun to play with. So hey, can't we all just get along?)

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  150. Paige you are amazing, we love you and hope you will continue to fly your geek flag high. I am so sorry that happened to you **BIG HUG**

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  151. These are for you: Fat Rants by the beloved Joy Nash. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUTJQIBI1oA http://youtu.be/PyQ_IKkAM9I http://youtu.be/zFmVj5BXCxM You Comic is friggin' awesome.You may get a lot out of Feminist Frequency's videos about the portrayal and treatment of women in gaming. And the author's own plight with male dweebs online. https://www.facebook.com/femfreq Super Hugs! M

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  152. The myths that those people create can never ever match the wonderful reality of you, Jen, me, or any of the rest of us. We are all Wonder Women in our own ways.

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  153. Paige,

    I am a 41 year old geeky female. Back in the 70s, girls didn't read comic books or like superheroes. Boys wouldn't discuss Batman with me because I was a girl. I wasn't allowed to wear the plastic Batman costume for Halloween because it wasn't a girl costume. (I didn't want to be Batman, I wanted everyone to know I loved Batman) I read Richie Rich comics and dressed up like Snow White when other people were looking.

    I earned your right to dress up. I earned your right to love comic books. I earned the skinny girl's right to dress up like slutty Darth Vader.

    I earned it by hiding my passion.

    I officially declare empowerment. Stand on my shoulders as I stand on those who went before me. I am with you.

    I wish I was brave like you. I don't think I have the courage to dress up for a con (I would go as Harley Quinn now) or publish my thoughts for everyone to see.

    Thank you for earning my right to dress up. I will stand on your brave shoulders.

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  154. Paige, you're beautiful and strong. Don't let some jerks take that away from you. I really hope you continue to make comics because you obviously have a talent for them.

    I also have to say that posts like this are exactly why I love this blog. There is an amazing sense of community here.

    I don't think I'm alone when I say that I would love it if there was a way to donate even a small amount to Paige's next cosplay.

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  155. Paige, you are awesome. Don't ever forget it!

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  156. Paige, thank you for your amazing art. It breaks my heart that you experienced such horrid treatment. I too, have spent my life feeling marginalized because of my size. Don't give up on finding good people with similar interests to you - they *are* out there.

    Emily

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  157. I found this on Pinterest some time ago and it's become my shield:

    If someone treats you like shit, just remember that there is something wrong with them, not you. Normal people don't go around destroying other human beings.

    Paige, you are stronger than you know but we see it.

    -Barbara Anne

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  158. Paige, I can't say anything else that hasn't already been said. Just know that you rock, girl! You are an inspiration. Don't let the haters bring you down... Just know that they have their own insecurities that they're trying to make up for and they feel like bringing other people down is the only thing that can raise them up. Never be afraid to be you. Pull that costume out of your closet and rock it at the next Con.

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  159. You are so strong and amazing. Are you going to A-Kon? If there is some way to print out a picture of you as Wonder Woman, would you be willing to autograph it for me? I am completely serious.

    I'm a female cosplayer too and we have to stick together. I want to fill a wall with people I admire. Please! Thank you.

    Michelle

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  160. Paige Hall said "(and I guess I can let it slide that you posted an awful picture of me crying... hahaha.)"

    That picture is so important, though. It reminds us that these things get to us, and we can't just pretend they won't. But to quote from a popular song from a few years back, "We'd never know what's wrong without the pain." We need to be reminded there is something wrong here. This isn't the way it's supposed to be. And to quote from another fandom, "Letting it get to you. You know what that's called? Being alive. Best thing there is."

    This comment thread is full of people who saw your thoughts and feelings in that comic and that picture. Every one of these people thinks your thoughts and feelings matter. Thanks for having them, and thanks for sharing them.

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  161. You are beautiful! I wish I had the guts to do that!

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  162. Paige, you sound like an absolutely incredible person. Please don't let something like this get to you. I experienced something very similar when I was younger and I wore a Star Trek costume. The experience seriously impacted my interest in showing my love for the show. In the long run I learned that there there are mean people in the world, in all walks of life (even in the geek/nerd world), and that you can't let them stop you from doing the things you love!

    If you're ever in the Colorado area, we're planning on heading to the Denver Comic-con the first time ever. Would love to see you there...

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  163. Paige,

    I may be a skinny chick, but I completely identify with your comic. I also respect the hell out of you for making it. Someday, they will make a plus-size superheroine, or a superheroine with unglamorous-looking scars on her face (like me!), or maybe even a plus-size superheroine who also has scars on her face...but even if they don't, we decent geeks will soldier on, revel in our own awesomeness, support each other, and know that we are on the side of the angels. And you are an *amazing* artist! I'm sorry you had to go through all that crap. I think every reader here wishes we could form a human shield between the kind people and the jerks. But know that we're proud of you, and that no prejudiced loser has the right to try to hurt you. And rock on!

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  164. I guess I've been lucky that I've never felt judged for being geeky. Possibly because both my parents are in to SciFi/Fantasy so I grew up feeling it was normal. I've grown up with family and friends who appreciate creativity and being who you are. I've met many wonderful people who thought I was completely nuts but loved me for it. I say all this not to be all "Neener neener my life is awesome!"('cause that would make me quite a tool) but to say that there are also fabulous people out there who won't judge you. Everyone who reads this site for example.

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  165. Paige,

    I'm not a geek girl, but my boyfriend and many of his friends are into comics, cosplaying, fan art, sci-fi shows and many other things. He runs a group dedicated to fans in our area of a show called "Firefly" (and all other sci-fi related stuff, really.) As a result, I've been to DragonCon a number of times.

    I made a lot of friends, but I also encountered people who didn't accept me. They told me I didn't belong, because I wasn't a fan. People in the so-called "accepting" geek community ostracized me, because I was different. I found one girl had written on her blog, "Remember in high school when the bitchy cheerleaders didn't want you to sit with them? What goes around comes around. That kind of girl can't pretend she's one of us."

    I've been an actress my entire life. I'm less than five feet tall. I'm curvy...like Kim Kardashian curvy. I know what it is to feel judged, and to struggle with your weight and your body shape, and know that no matter how small you try to make yourself, someone is always going to notice you and judge you and say you're not good enough. As I got older, I learned not to make myself smaller so other people could feel bigger. It just isn't worth it.

    I think you're my new idol. I've been blogging about feminism, body issues, and other issues that young women struggle with in today's society for a long time. If I knew how to reach you directly, I would. As it is, there are a lot of people out there in the world who need to see this...and the fact that you have a better head on your shoulders at your age than most people much older than you is amazing. In a society that keeps taking more and more sociological and political steps to demonstrate a hatred of women, you having the courage to speak up and fight back makes you an inspiration.

    You have inspired a lot of people, and I applaud your courage. Don't ever let anyone make you smaller or feel less magnificent than you are.

    *Hugs*,
    *~ Alayna-Renee


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  166. You're awesome. <3

    Your comic is amazing and heartbreaking, and I'm sorry that it's something that you've gone through.

    It's really awful how a group of geeks (who've been alienated in a lot of ways in life) will do everything they can to alienate others, especially girls and women, who want to be a part of it. (I've been there.)

    But it sounds like there are a lot of awesome ladies out there (and some awesome not-ladies, too!) who realize how very not cool a lot of the nastiness in geek spaces is. Sadly, there are still assholes, but I'm hoping more and more of them are going to get called out on being assholes, and more and more people are going to speak up and stick up for each other.

    You're not alone.

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  167. I am a bigger curvy geek woman and I wanted to say that I hope Paige knows that the good caring people outweigh the hateful ones and that she is very talented and I'm sure her Wonder Woman was awesome!

    I would also hope that people on here show respect for all the cosplayers out there. I'm reading a lot of hate towards "sexy" and therefore "fake" geeks. They are no less real. Those woman are people too and they are also worthy of compassion and human decency. Don't become what you claim to detest

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  168. You are so brave! I'm thankful that your instructor took time to talk to you and understood your pain. Please don't let the bastards win by keeping you from cosplaying who you want to be! *cosmic hugs*

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  169. Oh, I am so sorry to hear this happened to you. You did not deserve it.
    Please, continue to do cosplay and go to events. Not everyone is a jerk who attends those things -- most are very nice people and will compliment you on your costume.

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  170. Dear Paige,

    A few days ago I was standing outside my apartment just lost in enjoying the sunshine and soft breeze until a car full of total strangers parked several feet away began hurling insults at me, calling me fat and ugly all the while laughing uproariously. Yes, really. As I stood there in disbelief wishing the ground would open up and swallow me whole, they continued to hurl insults at me and roar with laughter as though it were hilarious.

    You know what, I handled it fairly calmly all things considered. I didn't react. I refused to give them that. I didn't yell at them that they were idiots or threaten to take my "fat ass" (which they were laughing was so big it must make the earth shake when I walk) over to their car and threaten them with physical violence (although they deserved it). I refused to give them that victory. Although some of the things they said stayed with me for several hours afterwards, by the end of the day I was able to shake it off. The truth is that I'm not fat. I'm not ugly. And the green dress I was wearing that they were mocking and saying "That green dress is so ugly! I can't believe she thinks she looks good in it!", well, the truth is that it *does* look good on me!

    But you know what?

    When I read about what happened to you and saw the pic you posted with that intensely sad and hurt look on your face, I was pissed off. Really pissed. I SO WISH I HAD BEEN THERE when those jerks were talking about you and laughing. I would have kicked their a$$es.

    Paige, you are gorgeous. Inside and out. More than that, you are unique, intelligent, creative, awesome, artistic, and insightful. I wish I knew you in real life, I'm sure you are an awesome friend and super fun to hang out with. :)

    Tons of love and big hugs, Your Fan in TN

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  171. Paige,
    I am 17 years old, of average height and weight and would NEVER have had the guts to do what you did, and I admire you for that. It takes so much effort to put yourself out there, it's a shame someone was so insecure about theirself they had to out you down. NEVER let them get to you. Take the way they made you feel, all the shame, and the anger and uncertainty... And realize it means nothing. Absolutely nothing. What is the opinion of a few absolute idiots when there is an entire Internet of beautiful, geeky women just like you standing behind you? We're an Epbot army here... And I'm pretty sure this just began a war. Hugs all around :)
    Katie~

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  172. Tired tonight, can't read all the comments, but love all of you. We're all Wonder(ful) Women and Super(duper) Men.

    Eff the haters, and watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=H_BtmV4JRSc#! (also this: http://wilwheaton.net/2013/04/being-a-nerd-is-not-about-what-you-love-its-about-how-you-love-it/)

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  173. Aw, jeez Paige. What can I say? That sucks. Keep on showing your geek love because we geeks are loving you.

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  174. Paige! You are a talented artist and all the more so for being willing to pour your heart and soul into your work! I'm an author and i know how hard that is. Especially when you share something that you know is close to your core and the reader/viewer does not. It's like role-playing ourselves and that's scary. But the best part is...we touch the hearts and souls of others who maybe feel the same way or have experienced the same thing. Your message and your voice are powerful! Awesome! I'll be posting this on my facebook: Jeanne Powell Ogden;) Maybe I'll see you at an upcoming Con. Good luck!

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  175. Paige,
    You are so courageous! First you braved a con (some of us have not yet), second you went in costume! and third you shared your experience. You are outstanding! I am a plus size superwoman my self! I know the courage it takes to dress in costume and to try to find a community of woman who will be supportive. I hope that Epbot is a place you frequent! It is one of those rare places that celebrate the courage of all of it's members, that celebrates the variety of geek girls! Please know you are a wonder woman and you can dress in jeans or in a classic costume and your super powers will be intact! I can't wait to see the superheroine you create and respect you bring to mainstream comics if that is the path you choose. I am excited to see where your art takes us all! You are not alone! You are awesome! Thank you for sharing your experience.

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  176. Sweetiepie, you are awesome! If people start saying negative things like that to you--They ain't worth it. You are a beautiful, smart woman and everyone reading this blog believes that same thing. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise!

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  177. Paige: Thank you for being an inspiration to me and other geeky women. You're one tough cookie, babe, and I admire you. All the haters can go get bent.

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  178. Hot danged, woman, you are a LOT braver than most people I know to go out there dressed as the WW herself. Definitely Braver than I am, and I tip my hat to you and send you all the applause you deserve for both the comic and for having dressed as Wonder Woman. I have stuck to "Safe" cosplays because I, too, am a plus sized woman and am afraid of that sort of a reaction. But I may just go out and do a Wonder Woman cosplay or a similar one just to help raise awareness and help others like us find their bravery, and you have given me just that little bit more strength that I needed. If you love something, don't be afraid to go out and show the world. You are an inspiration to all Geekdom Girls and Women to not be afraid to go out and show the world who you are and what you love. Love and Peace, Paige!

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  179. I wish I'd been at the convention you went to, Paige. I would have given you a hug, and probably taken a picture to show my friends how badass you are. It takes serious guts to wear a costume like that, regardless of what shape your body is. If you're the "right" shape for the costume, you end up with a bunch of creepers stalking your butt. If you're not, you get the reaction most of us are familiar with. And it's a load of bullshit. I bet you made an awesome Wonder Woman, and I hope this experience doesn't prevent you from attending future cons, in or out of costume.

    ... And if all else fails, you can always join up with the steampunks. We love everybody!

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  180. Paige,

    I was always on the recieving end of all the hateful crap at school. My fellow students would walk behind me making pig sounds or mooing. I shut myself away from the world and turned to drugs for years... All the pain and rage and indignity of that time festered inside me. A very special person came into my life and told me I was beautiful all the way to my bones. They kept telling me this until I started to believe it. After all these years, to see you and to feel your pain and to see those soulful eyes and that wonderful art. You are beautiful. You are wonderful. You be who and what makes YOU happy and content in your life. You do what fulfills you and enjoy what you are passionate about. And when you feel down, or when other people say ugly things to you, always remember: "God don't make no junk!"

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  181. I felt very touched by that comic.

    The person who has made me feel bad about myself all of my life is my mom. I can remember her calling me fat when I was as young as 5 and telling me the pediatrician was going to tell me off for gaining too much weight before going for a visit (it did not help that said medical professional was quite cold towards children). At age 9 I saw adds for diet products such as Slim Fast or Weight Watchers and thought they should apply to me, if only I was old enough to procure them for myself. I was constantly worried about what I ate, and sometimes I would stuff my face with cookies because I felt so miserable, and other times I would eat snacks of home made water popsicles (i.e. ice cubes on a stick). Whatever I tried, she still told me I was fat. I wasn't a tooth pick, so some of the other kids called me fat too, and all in all, I thought I was a whale until I truly became a plus sized woman. Only recently has my mother looked at pictures of me as a kid and told me I wasn't fat "then" (I almost lost it when she said that - I had been lied to all my childhood and it shaped the confidence lacking adult I am today for NO REASON AT ALL).

    Because of all I just told you, I have never felt comfortable dressing up as some of my favourite characters. Unless their costume is fully covering and can look good on my figure, I don't dare attempt it; I fear people who will think just like her and will point out that I am all wrong for the costume (I remember when I was 15 and wanted a Wednesday Addams costume for Halloween - plain black dress with lace collar and a black wig - and she laughed at me because apparently the joke is that the girl is skeletal and I was not). Even when I do, like say with my Rosalina from Mario Galaxy dress, I half expect to be called a cow in a dress. (Judge by yourself: http://costumeholic.blogspot.ca/2011/08/otakuthon-masquerade-experience.html)

    Thankfully, I was lucky enough to find a group of geeky friends who don't care what my body type is and appreciate the craftsmanship I put in my costumes. I have even been told by some of the guys that even at a my 16-18 size, I could wear a Leia Slave bikini if I wanted to and I would probably look good. I wouldn't dare of course, but it is nice to have that support.

    I don't know how much of the comic strip actually happened that way and how much is what you felt or feared, but I think we are our worst critics. I say go out there and have fun being who you want to be. The right attitude really makes or breaks a costume, and the loud mouths who say mean things rarely represent the majority; they are just the loudest at expressing their opinions.

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  182. Paige: You are gorgeous. We are all gorgeous. More importantly, you're smart, brave and empathetic. Wear whatever you want to wear, wherever you want to wear it. And the correct reply to rude comments is, "Well, at least I'm not rude," said with a huge smile.

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  183. Oh hon, I feel so bad, reading what you went through. That's the sort of crap that stops me from going to cons. I know I would be ripping heads off for doing what they did to you. I have to condemn not only the people who do this, but the people that run these events tat allow this to happen. I just wish I could give you a big hug and maybe ease your pain a bit. Take care!

    Karen

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  184. Paige, I am so proud of you for wearing your costume! I'm a curvy woman who still has to hide behind tunic-like tops and baggy pants. I'm so impressed when I see women who don't have "ideal" bodies wear what they want to wear. Maybe some day that strength will rub off on me. In the meantime, you continue to be brave! You are an inspiration!

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